SFY 2020 State Budget Assembly
On 3/27/2019 LeadingAge New Jersey President and CEO James McCracken testified to the Assembly Budget Commities and stated that NewJersey's Medicaid shortfall ranks 47th in the nation for receiving the necessary funding for quality care. The average daily cost of skilled nursing care in 2017 was $256 a day while the average Medicaid rate was $209, a loss of $47 a day.
Earned Sick Leave, Equal Pay, and most notably the increase in Minimum Wage have resulted in increased operating costs for our members. Long-term care providers who rely on government funding are struggling with serious financial challenges and are facing an insolvency crisis. Minimum wage alone is estimated to cost skilled nursing providers $30 to $35 million for every $1 increase in the minimum wage and assisted living providers between $3.5 and $4.1 million for every $1 increase.
As a result, Mr. McCracken is meeting with individual legislatures over the coming months asking for increased funding for senior living providers. He will also encourage the legislature to pass A3846/S2470 which calls for a comprehensive rate study of NJ's Medicaid long term care program. It will also be requested that an additional $15 million be allocated in the state budget for nursing facilities and $2 million for assisted living residences to off set minimum wage costs and add an additional $5.25 million in state funding for nursing facility and assisted living Medicaid reimbursement for the SFY2020 budget to compensate for the cost of caring for elderly patients.
We will release updates as they becomes available.